Chapter 9 begins with two quotes that concern the relevance of history learning and the habitual patterns of humanity. It provides an overview of the origins of history as an academic discipline and then expands on the nature of history. Academic, textbook, and popular history are then described. Finally, it describes perspectives of viewing history and the value of recognizing historical dimensions beyond the stories.

The ensuing section concerns what students need to know, beginning with the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) curriculum standards. The next section offers an overview of the major concepts and topics typically covered in history. Brief chronological outlines of U.S. and world history are provided. Concepts and generalizations for K-6 history instruction are presented along with recommended thinking skill and content understanding outcomes identified by the National History Standards Project (1994). The NCSS’s College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) framework for history learning follows.

After noting the limitations that K-6 students have in learning history, the chapter presents techniques for helping young students learn history, by emphasizing the teaching of young children to be historians. Sections that concern alternative history follows. The chapter concludes with guidelines for teaching oral history and two sample history-focused lesson plans.